Lt 155, 1910


Lt 155, 1910

Cottrell, H. W.



Previously unpublished.

My Brother Cottrell:

I am so sorry that you are revealing the real traits of your ideas. You have a taken a course to injure yourself. I am more sorry for you than I can express, that you should be with us and yet not of us. When you came to Melrose we had confidence in you, but you have such strange ideas that from light given me, unless you are convicted and converted from your strange opinions, there will be strange back-working with those who are connected with you. You have perfect confidence in your own opinion, and that opinion will be of such a character that the cause of God will be marred. Your help has been prized, for Elder Haskell has depended largely on your assistance; and we have felt thankful and ever shall feel thankful for your help. Lt155-1910.1

But when the talk was to have you for president of the California Conference, I was obliged to say to our brethren, No; for I was instructed that these very things objectionable in your character disqualified you to preside over any conference, because your ideas were not in harmony with the mind and the working of the Holy Spirit of God. I have watched lest your name should be proposed, for you could never be accepted as president of any conference among our people. Your failure to view things in a correct light made this impossible; for your own opinion you treat as supreme, and you would carry others with you, and this would bring confusion into our ranks. This is the reason I publicly took the hand of Elder Haskell and at that time signified that he would be accepted to serve, and a true man to serve with him that would prevent your being accepted; for I had been charged this must never be unless your position regarding the infallibility of your own ideas was changed. Therefore I expressed myself to Elder Haskell, [regarding] a true, sound man connected with Elder Haskell, true in his experience, one who could work in intelligence with Elder Haskell, so that he could have periods of rest, and yet be counsellor with the companion in labor. This move would be safe at this time, and matters would move wisely. That night was the most remarkable night I have had for the last thirty years. Lt155-1910.2

It is the purpose of God to glorify God in His people before the world, and Elder Cottrell’s misconception and erring judgment would, if president of the conference, [cause] incorrect decisions. And as the light of God has shone forth in correct light, we can accept Elder Haskell, in connection with his wife, as viewing Scriptures and expounding the Scriptures in correct light. He would not mislead, and with his wife, an accepted laborer of God with her husband, and with the ministerial help of a sound mind, matters would move under the guidance of the Lord correctly. The minister and his wife, blending perfectly in understanding of the Scriptures, will be a great strength to Elder Haskell; for consulting together and praying together, they can accomplish a double work. Lt155-1910.3

I was instructed that the Lord would give knowledge. It is not only by distributing literature, not only by preaching the truth, but by living the truth, that we witness for God. Let it be borne in mind [that] a Christlikeness in spiritual life is a decided, powerful argument; that the instruction given from the Word and the knowledge of past experience in conducting the work are a telling influence. The words from the pulpit and the educational instruction given, blending together, will be more than a sermon in the lives of those who advocate the truth. We have a great, grand work before us, and we must not fail nor be discouraged. We will now leave this matter with a few words Christ says of His people: “Ye are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14. Lt155-1910.4

We are placed under heavy responsibilities before the world and angels and men. Here is expressed our responsibilities. It is the purpose of God that divine and human shall unite their instrumentalities in the proclamation of the warning message. It seems a strange thing to commit so large a trust to human beings. “Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Lt155-1910.5

“Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how shall we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and life; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Lt155-1910.6

“Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby, in the day when he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. Lt155-1910.7

“When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live. Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal.” Ezekiel 33:7-17. Lt155-1910.8

Read this chapter, including verse 20. Here the Lord is speaking in explicit language. To all who study this chapter it is simple and plain. It is the Word of God, and to every church who would keep the way of the Lord is given the particular statement, If the church desire the blessing of the Lord, let them consider their ways and correct the evils. Let every church member take heed to his ways in every particular, to correct any evils in any matter and repent and be converted, that his sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come. Lt155-1910.9

I am to bear a message to you, my brother. You cannot, in the order of the Lord, carry your own impressions as righteous and unchangeable. The light the Lord has given me has been of a clear, decided character that your statements are incorrect. The morals of the school have made representations that have been unwholesome and incorrect, and your words and works spoil you as a laborer. I feel intensely concerning you, as I am deeply impressed that these ideas must change, else your usefulness is spoiled. I have had no words personally with you, but it is impossible for you to connect with our people as a laborer. Your strange attitude, to set your own opinion as supreme, forbids the work we would have you do. Lt155-1910.10

In regard to the school not being moved from Healdsburg, that may be the opinion of some, but one in particular. There was waiting only for an opening, which came unexpectedly at last in the Angwin property, and this settled the question because the Lord opened the way. The light given me was that the school should be moved, and it has been hindered two years because of circumstances. But your statements in several things are decidedly opposed to the truth, and I am so sorry because it decides the matter. We cannot longer regard you as a safe man to be entrusted with responsibilities. It is not the inspiration of the Spirit of God that has brought this heavy burden on the conference, but the strong deception of the enemy. Lt155-1910.11

These peculiar traits of character unfit you for the work we hoped you could do. Why will you carry these traits of character that we are so sorry they make it impossible to connect you with Elder Haskell? These developments and traits of character make it utterly impossible to retain you. I am so very sorry for your wife, but I am glad that the truth of the case is now before us. God may in mercy bring you to see the case as it is. But there is no place for such peculiar demonstration of character. I am so sorry, so very sorry, but I was instructed that you were not to be entrusted with responsibilities for conference work. Lt155-1910.12

All this infallibility claimed by you is a strange prerogative of your character. This strange, peculiar facet of your character is so peculiar as to make it impossible to take any other course of action, but leave you out of all responsibilities. The question was asked me, What about Elder Cottrell being president of the California Conference? He must never be placed to occupy a prominent position to any place, for a strange spirit would lead him to do strange things, and the proposition must not be made, unless he was converted. Oh, I am so sorry! This is one of the trials that we cannot explain, but his peculiar traits of character must not be connected with the work of God in any important transactions. I would like to talk with the man myself. Lt155-1910.13